Actor Juan Diego dies at 79
Sevillian actor Juan Diego has died at the age of 79, as confirmed by his relatives and the Film Academy. The winner of three Goya awards and one of the most important performers in Spanish cinema in recent decades was also a symbol of activism and the fight for performers' rights.
The actor will go down in history for his roles in films such as Dragón Rapide, where he played Franco and for which he received his first Goya nomination, La noche Oscura, by Carlos Saura or El rey pasmado, which gave him his first statuette in 1991 The other two would arrive through Paris-Timbuktu, under the command of Luis García-Berlanga, and through Vete de mí, his only Goya as a leading actor. For this wonderful role as an actor in crisis, he also won the Silver Shell for best actor at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
Juan Diego triumphed not only in the cinema, but also in the theater, where he focused a large part of his activity throughout the 1990s. Of course, also on television, where he triumphed in audience phenomena such as Los Hombres de Paco and Padre Courage, the miniseries directed by Benito Zambrano and which was one of the turning points in quality fiction in our country.
In addition to his quality as an interpreter, Juan Diego also stood out for his political commitment and for his activism in defense of the labor rights of actors. From a very young age and during the Franco regime he was a member of the Communist Party; and in 1975 he was one of the organizers of the historic actors' strike in which the reduction of the working day for theatrical interpreters was demanded. Also in 2003 with the No to war he was one of the most belligerent performers. He read manifestos at Puerta del Sol and led demonstrations against the US-led invasion of Iraq supported by the Aznar government.